Gun safety debate centering around 3D-printable guns has led to a proposal to introduce a ban on them in the District of Columbia.
D.C. Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on the proposal earlier this week.
The proposal aims at prohibiting the registration and possession of ghost guns, which are described as “firearms that, after the removal of all parts other than a receiver, cannot be detected by a metal detector.”
“When people download and print 3D plastic guns, the firearms have no serial numbers. This makes them untraceable, depriving law enforcement of a crucial tool to solve and combat gun crime,” Liz Wieser, deputy attorney general for public safety at the D.C. attorney general’s office, said in support of the ban, according to WTOP.
Wieser explained that guns have to contain enough metal to trigger common airport scanners as per the federal Undetectable Firearms Act, but the outcome of a lawsuit about 3D printing of weapons could change that.
The 1988 Act, which came in response to the detection problem of Glock 17 and similar guns, made it illegal to produce, possess, or transfer a gun with less than 3.7 ounces of metal.
She also mentioned the State Department’s plans for permitting instructions of 3D-printed weapons to be posted online, adding that D.C. should protect its citizens.